PG | | Drama, Family, Fantasy
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.
Lionel Barrymore convinced James Stewart to take the role of George Bailey, despite his feeling that he was not up to it so soon after returning from World War II.
Mr. Emil Gower:
I owe everything to George Bailey. Help him, dear Father.
Giuseppe Martini: Joseph, Jesus and Mary. Help my friend, Mr. Bailey.
Ma Bailey: Help my son, George, tonight.
Bert: He never thinks about himself, God, that's why he's in trouble.
Ernie Bishop: George is a good guy. Give him a break, God.
Due to his references to Mark Twain's writing and his outdated underwear, Clarence most likely died in the late 1800's, probably between 1876 - 1884, the publications of Mark Twain's two most famous novels. However, this does not square with his declared age in the bar; he says he will be "293, next May", which in 1947 would mean he was born in 1654 and therefore died in the early 1700's.
A ringing facsimile of the Liberty Bell (without the crack) forms the backdrop for the studio logo, which is Liberty Films, and the opening credits are in a scrapbook with Christmas decorations. The bell reappears before the end credits, and the end credits have a Christmas card picture as a backdrop.
The film was colorized three times. The first colorized version of the film was produced by Hal Roach Studios (now Hallmark Entertainment), the second by Republic Pictures. A third colorization of the film was produced by Legend Films for Paramount, the film's current copyright holder, in 2007.
£49,845 (UK) (19 December 2008)
$7,270,000 (USA) (31 December 1947)